From tornadoes to cyberattacks, the world is not always as safe as we’d like it to be.
Unfortunately, these events could impact the ability of companies to deliver necessary services and supplies.
That’s one reason why Northern Neck Electric Cooperative chose a remote, disaster recovery site. The service gives members the peace of mind of knowing that there is a robust plan and system in place in case disaster strikes the co-op or the region.
“Before disaster recovery we would have been down for weeks,” said Ryan Barrack, manager, information technology. “Now that we have this set up, we can get things basically back within three days.
The threat is real — both from nature and from humans.
“When we think about disasters we typically think about things like tornadoes or fires but it really covers cyber-attacks too,” said Jim Moss, vice president of operations.
Equally alarming to the threat posed by severe weather is the havoc that can be caused by other humans. In 2021, an unknown actor cyberattacked a fuel pipeline that supplies the east coast, causing damage that took weeks to clear up.
NNEC is not only aware of these threats, it took action several years ago to help mitigate them.
“We regularly meet with other co-ops, cybersecurity experts, and the federal government, such as the FBI. We found that disaster recovery was a priority to reduce our risk and improve reliability for our members,” said Barrack.
Today, NNEC has numerous layers of cybersecurity protection including intrusion detection and external vulnerability scans. Employees regularly receive training that helps prioritize, triage, and manage potentially malicious email messages.
In a worst-case scenario, the disaster recovery site and plan will be unaffected. Housed at an unidentified data center by top-tier security professionals, the critical infrastructure and data of NNEC is safe from natural and man-made disasters.
“If a disaster were to occur, we are ready,” said Brad Hicks, president and CEO. “We plan, prepare, and execute every day to make sure that we are ready. Disaster recovery is just another example of our efforts to maintain safety and reliability for our members.”